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All gravel pits in county in compliance with operating regulations

Recently-released report outlines the activities of Mountain View County's newly created development compliance officer

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - Council has received an update on gravel pit operations in the county.

The five-year activities report was presented to council as required under existing bylaw at recently regularly scheduled council meeting.

The report outlines the activities of the newly created development compliance officer.

“The position was created to have some capacity with regards to natural resource extraction monitoring,” said Margaretha Bloem, director planning. “For the most part that will be gravel pits within the county.”

As part of the five year review, 16 gravel pit operations identified under the land use bylaw for aggregate extraction/processing district were sent a letter and a checklist to simplify the review process and to encourage each operator to return the information.

“We are happy to share that all of those 16 are in compliance with the operating regulations,” she said. 

The checklist was created to ensure that all the operating regulations were currently in compliance with the operating regulations along with identifying the progress of each pit to date.

Specifically, the county required reporting on the hectares/acres along with a detailed scaled drawing of the active area, the reclaimed area, and the certified area, if registered through Alberta Environment.

“The response to the initial request was successful and it was determined that only two pits were out of compliance, and both were resolved quickly and with the full cooperation of the pit operators. We can positively report this five-year activities report review was successful.”

The intent of the operating regulations was to create a more level playing field for the project’s existing active gravel pits that operate without development permits or operate outside of the area of approve development permits, council heard.

The compliance report also reviewed the community aggregate levy program, which allows the municipality to impose a levy in respect to all sand and gravel business to raise revenue to be used towards the payment of infrastructure and other costs in the municipality.

There are currently 23 pits subject to the levy in the county, with the current rate being $0.40 per tonne.

“We do have two outstanding levy reports that we are waiting on from the first half of the year and soft enforcement is being taken to ensure good working relationships with the pit owners moving forward.

“Should more aggressive enforcement be necessary, it will be discussed with the assistant director and/or director of planning to determine next steps.”

The pit owner is responsible for providing the county with the tonnage, Bloem said.

Council accepted the development compliance position report as information.

Dan Singleton

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